Recently I let one of my workshop students use my Nikon D3s and zoom lens. I (like many of you) have my custom settings on that camera placed exactly where I want them. I am so used to them being “right” that I sometimes forget to check them. Well sure enough, after letting someone use my camera for about an hour, they handed it back and I didn’t think anything of it.

I went out to make some test shots of new lighting set up and nothing – I mean nothing looked right. Since it was a new lighting setup I started tweaking the lights. Still – nothing was right. Everything from focus to exposure to you name it looked wrong. It was the focus that gave away the problem. The photographer I had loaned my camera to had switched the lens to manual focus. That got me thinking – what else has been changed?

Answer: EVERYTHING. It’s amazing how differently I shoot from the person who was using the camera. They had changed most of my custom functions. I do have all these saved on a memory card but that didn’t do me any good since it took me a minute to realize what had happened.

The lesson here is simple.

1. If you borrow someone else’s camera – be polite and make sure that it’s okay to change settings and that there is a way to return them to the owner’s preferred default.

2. Make sure YOU check your own camera when you loan it to someone to see that it has been restored to the settings you like to use.

It was a rookie mistake on my part but it does go to show you that even an old dog like me can learn new tricks – they may be bad tricks – but they are new.

Be careful when you loan your camera to someone that this doesn’t happen to you.

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